Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Memoirs - This Genre is new to me

My first taste of this Genre was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and I really enjoyed it, I read it just before I started blogging but can still remember it.  I decided to try more, do you have any recommendations?

I am Currently Reading The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder

On Amazon From Publishers Weekly

As a writer stymied by past success, writers block, substance abuse, relationship problems and a serious set of father issues, Elliott's cracked-out chronicle of a bizarre murder trial amounts to less than the sum of its parts. Not long into the 2007 trial of programmer Hans Reiser, accused of murdering his wife, the defendant's friend Sean Sturgeon obliquely confessed to several murders (though not the murder of Reiser's wife). Elliott, caught up in the film-ready twist and his tenuous connection to Sturgeon (they share a BDSM social circle), makes a gonzo record of the proceedings. The result is a scattered, self-indulgent romp through the mind of a depressive narcissist obsessed with his insecurities and childhood traumas. Elliott is an undeniably good writer, but his voice has more to do with amphetamines than the author himself or the trial at hand. Elliott's frustration with himself is contagious; any readers expecting a true crime will be bewildered, and those familiar with Elliott (My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up) will find more (or less) of the same.

This Year I read My Review of The Prisoner's Wife

From Booklist

When one hears of a woman marrying a man in prison, especially a man she met while he was already in prison, it is hard not to question her motives or sanity. Poet asha bandele writes of her relationship with Rashid, a man serving 20-to-life for murder. She tells of how she met this man while she was visiting the prison to read her poetry; of how she visited him as a friend/lover, waiting five years before she married him; of waiting the long months after the marriage before they were granted a conjugal visit; of love letters, long collect phone calls, and the horror and indignity of their prison situation. Yet she found in Rashid the strength to remember and confront her past as a victim of sexual abuse. She found, too, the love that most women long for, but in a place that imposes limitations that are a nightmare. Her writing soars with emotion. And the reader's emotions soar as well, not because of a shared experience but because her highly polished and skillful writing makes one feel her pain and joy. This is a romantic but realistic story, told with a directness and honesty that make us know that however impossible the problems asha and Rashid face, we can question neither her motives nor her sanity.

I have added these two from recommendations.

Motherless Child - stories from a life

Imagine you gave a baby up for adoption forty years ago, and after years of trying to find her, she finds you. Now come the hard questions. She's healthy, beautiful, and successful, but she wants to know why you gave her away and why you didn't marry her father. And there is also the unspoken question of "What kind of black woman gives her baby away?" How do you explain to her that giving her away was the best gift you could offer? This is Sarah Weathersby's first published work, a coming-of-age-in-the-sixties-single-black-pregnant and on the way to Germany, memoir.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
In A LONG WAY GONE: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a powerfully gripping story: At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.

This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

Thank you for visiting Tea Time with Marce


  1. I enjoyed The Long Way Home by John Grogan and Tears of the Desert by Halima Bashir.

  2. I read The Glass Castle, too! And it was also before blogging. I really liked it. As for other memoirs, I haven't read many! The only other one was Reading Lolita in Tehran, and that one was very political so I didn't enjoy it as much. The ones you listed seem really good, though. Especially the last one.

  3. I would highly recommend Color Blind by Precious Williams. There is a review of it on my blog!

  4. I'd read A Long Way Gone - heartbreaking. Recommended.

    Memoir is a genre I quite enjoy. The Glass Castle is one of my favorites. What started my interest in memoir was Running with Scissors - yet another dysfunctional family (more so than The Glass Castle).

    Are there any particular you are interested in? War memoir? Medical? Education (school)? Inspirational? Want to give recommendations based on your interest.

  5. Here's the memoir challenge review - just to give you some more ideas!

    Other memoirs I am interested in a food/cooking, travel, writing, crime, etc. Actually may be easier to say what I am NOT interested in lol! If you like Tennis, I heard Open by Andre Agassi is very honest - even though he wasn't my favorite player, I want to read it at some point. I read Monica Seles' memoir too and it made me liked her better after I read it.

  6. I highly recommend Change Me Into Zeus's Daughter by Barbara Robinette Moss, and Autobiography Of A Face by Lucy Grealy.....and for something a little different, try The Coalwood Way by Homer Hickam. All three of these are favorites!

  7. I awarded you;


    * Running with Scissors (I know you said you have this on your list already, can't wait to see what you think! This book really sparked my interest in memoirs which I had no interest at all before that... and subsequently my interest in non-fiction

    * A Child Called It (there are a few books after it but i haven't read them) - writing is not as good as Running or Glass Castle, but the story is even more disturbing.


    * It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather Armstrong (her blog is dooce, very popular, talks about Postpartum depression)


    * Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter (Ashley was is foster care, so it's not technically a care giver story, it gives a different perspective)

    * Josie's Story - A Mother's Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe by Sorrel King

    * Where is the Mango Princess? A Journey Back from Brain Injury by Cathy Crimmins (her husband has brain trauma)


    * Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff. His son written a book from his point of view too but I haven't read it (Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff)

    * Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine


    * haven't read any


    * you didn't mention food, but I really enjoyed A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg. I love food, but don't like to cook, but I got inspired to learn to cook after that!

    * this is not a memoir, but if you haven't read Primal Fear by William Diehl (which is also a movie), I think it's a book you'd enjoy!

  9. I'd read The Long Way Home by John Grogan but like his first memoir, Marley and Me, more. I am not a dog person, but briefly considered getting a dog after reading it! It made me cry too...

    I know you said you aren't a cat person, I read this a while back and was touched (and made me think maybe having a cat ain't so bad lol): Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter

  10. I'm a huge fan of A Long Way Gone - and I'm really interested in the others you posted!


Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce, I appreciate your comments. I have decided to make this an Award Free Zone, thank you for thinking of me but I prefer comments and do my best to be a good networking blogging friend also.

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